As a consumer, you should be able to trust the products you are buying for yourself and your family are reasonably safe. They should be thoroughly tested and manufactured correctly. Under Illinois law, manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility to ensure they are not selling dangerous or defective products. Profits should never come before people.
When corporations fail to live up to their most basic responsibilities, they must be held accountable. In Illinois, a company can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by a defective product. Here, our Rockford personal injury lawyers provide an overview of our state’s strict liability standard for defective product claims.
Strict Liability and Defective Products: What You Need to Know
In Illinois, most personal injury cases arise under the negligence standard. Broadly defined, negligence is the failure to exercise due care within the context of a particular set of circumstances. Product liability claims are unique because they do not fall under the negligence standard. Instead, Illinois holds manufacturers and distributors to a higher legal standard.
Corporations are strictly liable for harm caused by a dangerous or defective product. As explained in the Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions, strict liability “is imposed without regard to traditional questions of privity, fault, or the user’s ordinary negligence.” In other words, strict liability does not depend on actual negligence or intent. Manufacturers, sellers, and marketers have a greater level of responsibility to ensure their products are safe for public consumption.
Strict Liability is Not Automatic Liability: The Elements of a Successful Claim
It is important to emphasize strict liability is not automatic liability. Nor is it absolute liability. A manufacturer or distributor is not necessarily responsible if a consumer is injured by a product. The law simply states corporations are strictly liable for injuries that occur because of dangerous or defective products they have put into the stream of commerce. To bring a successful product liability lawsuit in Illinois, you must prove the following three (3) things:
- The injury resulted from a product condition or defect;
- The product condition or defect was unreasonably dangerous; and
- The defect existed at the time the product left the defendant’s control.
What constitutes a product defect is a complicated question. It depends on many different factors, including the intended use of the product and the safety warnings or lack thereof. Product liability cases should be comprehensively investigated by an experienced attorney. Large corporations must be held accountable for putting people in harm’s way.
Call Our Illinois Product Liability Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Fisk & Monteleone Ltd., our Rockford defective product lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to hold negligent manufacturers and distributors accountable. If you or your loved one was injured by a defective product, we can help. Contact us at 815-962-0044 for a free, fully confidential initial consultation. From our Rockford office, we handle product liability cases throughout the region, including in Winnebago County, Ogle County, and Stephenson County.